about

Praised for her “stylish” singing (Opera Magazine) and the “emotional force” (The Times) of her performances, mezzo-soprano Joanna Harries enjoys a varied career in both opera and recital.

Born in New Zealand and raised in Wales, Joanna recently finished as a young artist at the National Opera Studio in London. Last season she made her debut with Opera Rara and the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Concert Hall as mezzo soloist for Paul Rissmann’s Through the Looking Glass suite, and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Cadogan Hall as mezzo soloist for Mozart’s Requiem.

Recent opera roles include Medoro Orlando with the Liberata Collective at Buxton International Festival, Prince/Stepmother Cinderella Opera North Little Listeners, Lucinda La forza dell’amor paterno The Barber Opera, Contessa Ceprano Rigoletto Opera Holland Park, Deborah Robinson Crusoe West Green House Opera and Tweedle-Dee Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland IF Opera. As a Young Artist at the National Opera Studio Joanna performed scenes as Cherubino, Idamante, Ruggiero, Le Prince Charmant and Cenerentola with the orchestras of English National OperaWelsh National OperaOpera North and Scottish Opera.

A keen recitalist, Joanna has been a Britten Pears Young Artist, a Handel House Talent artist and an Opera Prelude Young Artist. Recent performances include Scandinavian song in the Elgar Concert Hall, Birmingham with Sholto Kynoch (Barber Lunchtime Concert), a lunchtime recital at the Royal Opera House with Fran Hills, Russian song at Pushkin House with Thomas Ang, and English song at Snape Maltings as a Britten Pears Young Artist alongside Sarah Connolly and Joseph Middleton.

In concert she has sung as mezzo soloist for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Macmillan’s Seven last words from the cross with the BBC Philharmonic at Harrogate Royal Hall, Handel’s Messiah at Lincoln Cathedral, and Bach’s Easter Oratorio at the Bach Festival Świdnica in Poland.

Her discography includes recordings with Opera Rara (Finocchini, La Princesse de Trébizonde) and the London Symphony Orchestra (mezzo soloist, Wonderland). Her debut song album Letters from Scandinavia with pianist Sholto Kynoch will be released in 2025 with CRD Records. She is currently working on her second album Nightingale, with pianist Jong Sun Woo and composer Alex Groves.

She is co-founder with Jess Dandy of SongPath, bringing together music, nature and mental health in specially curated outdoor events. Since 2019 they have worked with mental health organisations across the UK and festivals including Oxford International Song Festival, Leeds Lieder festival, Ulverston International Music Festival and Beverley Early Music Festival.

Studies

Joanna was a choral scholar at the University of Cambridge before training at the Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and National Opera Studio.

During her studies Joanna performed with companies including British Youth Opera, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera Holland Park, Grange Park Opera, Longborough Festival Opera and was an Emerging Artist for the Royal Opera House “Opera Dots” performances for children.

Contemporary

Joanna is in demand as a interpreter of contemporary music. She has created new opera roles including Prometheus in Tim Benjamin’s The Fire of Olympus, Tartine in David Blake & Keith Warner’s Scoring a Century for British Youth Opera, Awen (cover) in Pwyll ap Sion’s Gair ar Gnawd for Welsh National OperaGirl/Psychiatrist in Scott Stroman & Tamsin Collison’s Fever Pitch and Diana in The Weekend based on the play by Michael Palin.

She has also premiered works by composers Lucy Armstrong (Cheese at the Bridgewater Hall), Melissa Douglas (Sonnet 116 at the John Ryland’s Library, Manchester), Michael Betteridge (Dawn Chorus at the Royal Exchange Theatre), and Anna Appleby (winning composition, 2015 Rosamond Prize). She performed as vocal soloist in the UK revival of Steve Reich’s video opera Three Tales (Ensemble BPM) and has collaborated with performance artist Maeve Rendle at Manchester Art Gallery, The Whitworth and the Harris Museum in Preston.

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